By Barb McKay
Consistently high gas prices, compared to neighbouring communities, could eventually impact tourism in Kincardine, according to the head of the region’s economic development corporation.
In December, Team Kincardine, which is comprised of the Penetangore Regional Economic Development Corporation (PREDC), Kincardine BIA and Kincardine and District Chamber of Commerce, was asked by Kincardine council to investigate why gas prices in the municipality are higher than prices in surrounding municipalities.
In an email to The Independent last week, PREDC executive director Gerry Taylor explained that Team Kincardine had tracked gas prices in Kincardine, Port Elgin, Goderich,
“I am concerned with trying to understand what the duration of these high gas prices will be in our community,”
however, they are also spending additional finances on grocery and other discretionary items. This is economic leakage out of our community.”
One issue Kincardine faces is the fact that there is no independent gas station that has the ability to set lower prices, which would in turn trigger competitors to lower their prices.
“If the duration of higher prices becomes extended, local consumer spending habits will change, leading to an established impact on our local economy,” he said. “We need to know if this is a short-term or long-term issue as we will be fast approaching our tourism season. Over time, if Kincardine establishes itself with a well-known reputation for high local gas prices, we may lose tourists as well.”